Tomorrow I leave for Yellowstone National Park, otherwise known, and for very good reasons, as Winter Wonderland. This is a special trip for me because it has been four years since I was in Yellowstone in the winter; I had a trip planned for February of 2005 when my 92 year old mother fell and died shortly afterwards. Last year, instead of going to Yellowstone in the pit of winter, Kevin and I took Mother's ashes to scatter in Puerto Rico. That trip was equally heart-filling, but in such different ways.
This winter's trip is too short, I know that already, and my agenda is much too full. The reason I return and return again to Yellowstone is that I have long since recognized that it is the place for spiritual renewal, psychological restoration, deep thinking, attainable physical challenge, extreme beauty, and many other things that make the heart soar. Most of this is best achieved in solitude, but along the way I have made many friends I'm eager to see and spend time with at the expense of lonesomeness. This trip is also designed to open the door to the solution to this "problem. " I am meeting a realtor and perhaps visiting a property or two as a first step to moving there permanently when I retire. If I live in Bozeman and am not tied to a job, and not mired in the poverty of old age, I can dash off to the Park at will. It's hard to contemplate waiting for seven or eight years for this to become my new life.
5 days ago